APL News 

GEK News - APL's 5th Anniversary, Upcoming Workshop, New Features and Fixes

The Power of 5 | New Fixes and FeaturesOn Site Service | Maker Faire | Woodgas Tesla | Dragon Wagon

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The Power of 5:  500 gasifiers, by our 5th anniversary

This summer marks our 5 year anniversary of exploring the wonders of gasification.  After 5 years of designing and doing, we’re approaching our 500th gasifier sale, and plan something special for the person who lands the 500th machine.  Mr or Ms Lucky 500th purchase will get a $5,000 rebate in cash or product credit.  Hey, you could actually come out cash positive on this proposition if you’re just getting a kit . . .  

The few rules are as follows:

  • The purchase has to be a gasifier kit or power pallet.  It can’t just be parts.
  • The purchase needs to happen between now and the end of June.  By June 30th we’re sure we’ll hit the 500th system purchase, so we shouldn’t tempt you beyond there.   It will likely happen much before then.
  • The definition of “purchase” is a sale initiated with payment.  From tomorrow forward we will count each new incoming order with payment as one sale towards the 500th and the $5,000 prize.

We’ll also celebrating our 5th anniversary with a big weekend workshop, August 9-11, here at APL in Berkeley, CA.  It has been much too long since the last one, and we’re putting together a big show to make up for the long wait.  More info will be provided in the next GEKnews, but plan for a multi-track weekend of science, learning and broad machinery circus.  We expect 100-150 people from around the world.  Please tell us if you plan to attend so we can reserve a space for you.  We can also help you with visa letters and local logistics.  More info on the workshop is here.

Our next monthly open house is this Friday, June 12th from 5-7pm.   We invite you to come see the current state of innovation and implementation at APL, washed down with gasifier-cooked pizza and cold drinks.  This round we’re having two local bands powered by biomass, and an EV charging station.

 

New Fixes and Features

We’re constantly evolving our products in response to in-house work as well as user feedback.  Here’s a list of some recent ones of interest:

Feature:  Fuel and filter media sifting meshes.  We’re now shipping the Power Pallet with 4 grades of screening mesh built in to the packing crate. The result? Take it out of the box, then use the box to sort your fuel and filter media. Easy.  No trip to the hardware store that may not exist, to get potentially the wrong mesh that will result in poor fuel sizing and run problems.  Why didn’t we think of this before?  

Fix:  New Condensate and cyclone jars.  Now more ruggedized and with easier to access cyclone jar attachment mechanism.

Fix:  Code update to governor for smoother start up, shut down, and better load tracking.  Intermittent engine backfires now resolved.

Fix:  New blower mounting and start up gas routing to prevent blower damage on start up errors.  One replacement blower also now included with each Power Pallet so you have a back up.

Feature:  New Product Support.  We’ve building out a larger Product Support department to better answer your questions and keep you up and running.  We now have three dedicated staff and more part timers in the department to keep our exchanges current.  We’re also churning out 1-2 new instructional videos a week. You can find the latest on how to Pack the Gas Filter, here.

Fix: Pressure Testing and Seals.  We’ve elaborated the pressure testing and seals of each Power Pallet to minimize chances of performance impacting leaks.  Additional replacement gaskets are now provided standard.

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On site set up service now available:

Pictured is APL’s Scott Garrison, who’s just back from a week in Haiti.  Power Pallets are showing up in all kinds of places, and since each has a different source of fuel and other local specifics, it’s often helpful to have an expert do the set up.  Many headaches can be avoided over small mistakes that lead to large problems, if you have some guidance at the beginning.

We now have enough product support staff to enable regular off site trips.  So we’re pleased to announce we can now offer this service on a more formal basis.

If you would like to have someone from APL come set up your system, and resolve the local details, please email sales@allpowerlabs.org

 

MF

Making a scene at Maker Faire:

The big local to do around here this time of year is Maker Faire; a sprawling do-fest of every kind of garage hacker/innovater/maker you can imagine. Words fail as to how to describe this creative baccanal–180,000 people packed in over two days, and this year was no exception.
 
Once again, we were given a prime location, and once again were absolutely mobbed, including dozens who stopped by to say they’ve been watching our progress for years and continue to be impressed by the improvements we’ve made. The Power Pallet drew quite a crowd ( OK, it may have been the gasifier-powered margaritas, cookies, and cell phone charging as well ).  A full hopper of walnut shells was all we needed–it ran nine hours non-stop on varying loads without needing refilling, and without our wranglers doing much more than standing around talking and looking good in our spiffy new tshirts.
 
Someone in the crowd was entertained enough to make this video, walking around our site and showing off the Power Pallet we just sold to the Climate Foundation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hgSCdb70BQ
 

 

Wood-gas Tesla’s, Leafs, and Priiii.
 
As you’ll recall, at the April open house the locals got quite excited by the presence of an electric super star, in the form of a Telsa Roaster, which we promptly hooked up to a Power Pallet. ( See here a cheeky rock and roll video we threw together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOSPV5R_fIQ )
 
We’re pleased to announce that starting with this Open House we’ll be offering a “Free Fill Up Friday” for EV owners.  Got an electric car? Come down for a 100% guilt free tank up on carbon negative energy for your ride, and pizza and beer for you. There’s no charge for the fill up, and you’ll be making an important contribution to our life cycle analysis of miles per wood chip.

Teslaphoto 1

 

dragon wagon utah state - Google Search
Dragon Wagon: what happens when the Department of Defense gets
a little wood gas fever
 
Speaking of hot vehicles, we are happy to now be able to reveal something interesting done with one of our gasifiers, that until now we were under strict orders not to share with anyone outside the defense department. Meet the Dragon Wagon:
 
It was more than a little amusing to get these images of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff being shown around the Dragon Wagon, a mobile gasification energy generation platform developed by Utah State University.
 
Check out the assembled honchos of the US Defense Dept with Dr. Dallas Hanks of USU, in these photos: 

 

2 comments to GEK News: APL’s 5th Anniversary contest, Workshop dates, New Features and Fixes

  • great job! Here in Italy, we get 30cents fot Kwh produced, so there are many interested in wood gasifiers.Although, the look for 8000 hr/year performance, to get good economic results.
    How many hours/year does your unity work?

    • Hello Antonio!

      The Power Pallet is recommended for an 8-12 hour cycle (as explained in our warranty) equating to a maximum of 4380 operating hours per year. Longer shifts are technically possible but would be outside of warranty protection and would in any case require very diligent monitoring and maintenance. But even at 12 hours/day, the economic performance of a 20kW Power Pallet is considerable.

      1. a shift of 12 hrs/day x 356 days = 4380 operating hours per year
      2. constant output of 16kW/hr x 4380 hours = 70,080 kWh/yr
      3. at .30 EUR/hr this would bring revenues of EUR 21,024 — at the time of this reply, that would be US$ 28,043
      4. so the 20kW Power Pallet would recoup its purchase price (US$ 26,995) in just 11.55 months!

      Naturally, the payback is longer when one subtracts the cost for feedstocks and maintenance but once the Power Pallet is paid for at the end of the first year, one quickly arrives in the “profit zone” and remains there for the rest of the unit’s operating life (or until the feed-in tariff period ends).

      Kind regards,
      ALL Power Labs Customer Support

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